Poem: The Stove is Elsewhere

A personal favorite of mine, a treatise on why it's not a good idea to cook and write simultaneously.

The Stove is Elsewhere

Well, to begin with, you can’t mix these times,
the time to write and the time to cook
I was reminded of the truth of this, allowing
just a moment to alter a paragraph
while eggs were boiling hard, then listening
to soft explosions from the kitchen

Wondering what that was all about

I’ve put on the coffeepot before and stepped away
for just the smallest moment, noticing later
the strange this smell of rubber burning, a drift
through my window, something from the street
Must be roofers mopping tar and like a dream
just ending, I began to think of cappuccino

Amazing physics in a pot run dry and glowing

But there’s soup on now and soup’s forgiving
Lost moments mean not a thing to soup
and I make it thick, not tentatively phrased,
paragraphing rough chopped carrots, peppers
Never a dangled participle in the pot,
three squirts of olive oil, two heads of garlic

Knowing what I’m doing with soup

Metaphoric spices, onion tears, tomato paste like blood,
mushrooms grown in the dark like thoughts
Never could keep up with Julia Childs
or writer’s workshops either, too much recipe
and yet somehow the soup is always pretty good
Hot and pungent, thrown together it simmers

Forgiving enough to let my mind run elsewhere
Poetry Collection: The Smell of Tweed and Tobacco
This poem is included in
Jim Freeman's
poetry collection


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